A major San Antonio is saddling up for an intimate look at the modern American cowboy lifestyle through the lens of acclaimed photographer Anouk Masson Krantz.

Her new exhibition, "American Cowboys," opens September 29 at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, showcasing stunning black-and-white images that reveal the enduring culture of the ranching families and rodeo communities.

The exhibition promises a behind-the-scenes look at the less-urban world surrounding San Antonio and other Texas locales. Featuring over 100 stunning photographs, Krantz's lens provides a contemporary homage to cowboy culture across the frontier.

Raised in France but now based in New York City, Krantz has traveled across America to photograph the daily lives and enduring culture of today's cowboys and cowgirls. Her subjects are ranchers, tight-knit rodeo crowds, and the virtues of the Western lifestyle that remain remarkably unchanged for more than 150 years.

Her being raised outside of America is important for connecting mythology — what she learned in France as tropes — to reality. Many San Antonians have become used to knowing ranchers and equestrians, but the French photographer's images provide an inspiring and fresh outside view into the enduring pioneering spirit of the West..

"Krantz's intimate portraits and stunning panoramas showcase the life of today's cowboys and ranchers — and vividly prove that what she'd heard of, and we all think of as the Western life, is alive and thriving," says Briscoe president and CEO Liz Jackson.

Selected images on Krantz’s website feature a cowboy on horseback tipping his hat in a timeless, polite gesture, framed surprisingly through a car window as if glimpsed across eras. Another photo depicts women seated around a vintage car, chatting with one another. Juxtaposing classic cowboy iconography with candid moments of connection, the photos reveal the photographer's fascination with both pervasive myths and ephemeral glimpses of Western American life.

"Although long admired for their strength, relentless work ethic and humble values, the American Cowboy is more than a myth.” Jackson remarks.

Guests can anticipate hearing unique insights directly from the acclaimed French photographer herself during an exclusive tour, as she shares details about capturing the authentic daily lives of humble, yet virtuous cowboys and their families. Visitors can also keep exploring the Briscoe's Western offerings, which have long been a defining part of the museum's curatorial style.

"The exhibition pairs well with our permanent collection where visitors can see both historical and contemporary art, tools of the cowboy trade, and artifacts of the West," says Jackson.

Krantz's critically acclaimed photography offers an inspiring and fresh view into the enduring pioneering spirit of the West. Fans will also have the opportunity to take home a signed copy of Krantz's latest art book Ranchland: Wagonhound, which won the 2023 Western Heritage Award.

"American Cowboys" will be on display at the Briscoe Western Art Museum from September 29, 2023, to January 22, 2024. Tickets ($14, plus discounts for children, seniors, military, and students) to the Briscoe are available at briscoemuseum.org.

Shot from American Cowboys at the Briscoe Western Art Museum

Photo courtesy of the Briscoe Western Art Museum

Anouk Masson Krantz lends her images from touring the American West at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, starting September 29.

Photo by Patricia Moore

Embrace cowboy culture in Bandera, the Wild West of Texas

Hit the Road

Ever wonder how Bandera came to be known as the Cowboy Capital of the World? The title originated when the Texas Hill Country town became a staging area for the last great cattle drives of the late 1800s.

Today, a bronze monument honoring the many National Rodeo Champions who call Bandera home stands on the courthouse lawn, and it's not uncommon to see horseback riders tipping their hats to each other as they pass in the surrounding rolling green hills. There are also regular gunfight re-enactments during Cowboys on Main, courtesy of the Bandera Cattle Company, and several dude ranches where you can hang your hat for the night.

Early days
Locals like to say that "nothing in Bandera changes except for the date," and an eye toward history is evident in the town's two museums.

The Frontier Times Museum is stocked with over 40,000 items and art that tell the story of Bandera County's earliest days. The Bandera Natural History Museum, meanwhile, displays an extensive wildlife exhibit and a collection of Spanish art from 1521-early 1800s.

Several spots in town are historical in their own right, too. Arkey Blues Silver Dollar Saloon recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church is the second-oldest Polish Catholic church in the U.S. In fact, there are over 50 historic markers throughout the county, and 18 of them are in Bandera.

Mark your calendar
September rolls in with the Celebrate Bandera Roundup, complete with a parade and courthouse festivities as well as two ranch rodeos. September 23 is Cajun Festival in Lakehills at the Lakehills Civic Center (11225 Park Rd.), and at the end of September get ready for the Rumble on the River motorcycle rally.

The solar eclipse will be front and center on October 14, with many events throughout the area to celebrate and offer optimum viewing. On October 19-22, Bandera Brewery hosts its Beerfest, which is thankfully several weeks removed from Bandera Buckfest/Hunters Weekend on November 3-5.

February kicks off with the Annual Cowboy Mardi Gras, and you should be well recovered in time for the total solar eclipse in April 2024. Notable festivals during this time are Eclipse Utopia April 7-8 and Ground Zero Musicfest at Mansfield Park, April 5-9.

The Bandera ProRodeo Association welcomes Memorial Day weekend with three nights of professional (PRCA) rodeos and a Saturday morning parade. June is the beginning of the Summer Series Rodeos happening every Friday night through the first week of August, put on by Riding on Faith Rodeo.

Keep up to date and see a full calendar of events here.

It's natural
Two of the most breathtaking natural areas in Texas are within easy driving distance. Surround yourself with limestone bluffs and hills covered in blooming wildflowers at the Hill Country State Natural Area, which is home to more than 40 miles of trails.

Meanwhile, Lost Maples State Natural Area — named for the park’s abundance of bigtooth maple trees that provide vibrant fall colors — is 2,100 acres of statement-making scenery, including limestone canyons, grasslands and wooded hills, and clear-water streams. It's simply breathtaking in the fall.

The area is also known as one of the best birding destinations, with the spotting of species like the black-capped vireo, golden-cheeked warbler, and green kingfisher.

Chow time
Here you'll find an abundance of local eateries, including the Old Spanish Trail, which has been continuously open for over 100 years.

Elsewhere around town, take your pick from Mexican, Italian, Chinese, barbecue, pizza, and traditional steakhouses, while multiple bars offer adult drinks and dancing to live music almost every night.

For dessert or a refreshing snack, the Bandera General Store is a must; it has one of the last remaining old-fashioned soda fountains in Texas (there are only 11 of them!).

See more of what Bandera has to offer here.

Photo by Henry Becerra on Unsplash

This is how much income a San Antonio resident needs to afford rent in the city, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From new construction to old movies, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. This is how much income a San Antonio resident needs to afford rent in the city. Thankfully, the city's median annual income is higher than what a resident would need for a one bedroom apartment.

2. San Antonio hospital is one of the top 20 in Texas this year, says U.S. News & World Report. Baptist earns particularly high marks for cancer-related care and procedures.

3. Hemisfair prepares to break ground for hotel and residences around San Antonio's new Civic Park. Hemisfair is always looking toward the next thing, but now it's time for the future to become reality.

4. Fun and affordable San Antonio shows up on new list of best cities for Gen Z. San Antonio charms young adults with its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, diverse restaurants, and buzzy nightlife.

5. San Antonio museum collects spooky set pieces for 30th anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Hope you're sitting down: This year, the classic holiday mashup movie The Nightmare Before Christmas turns 30 years old.

Photo courtesy of Disney and Tim Burton

San Antonio museum collects spooky set pieces for 30th anniversary of The Nightmare Before Christmas

Hall of the Pumpkin King

Hope you're sitting down: This year, the classic holiday mashup movie The Nightmare Before Christmas turns 30 years old. That's 30 years of Zero, the ghost dog, being the cutest dead thing ever; of nostalgia for the music of Danny Elfman; and of the pervasive trauma from watching Oogie Boogie unravel.

This spooky stop-motion wasn't just iconic for its adventurously eclectic storyline. It was also a technical masterpiece. That's why the McNay Art Museum curated Dreamland | Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The anniversary exhibit celebrates director Tim Burton's achievement through his "awkwardly charming cast," in the McNay's words, with drawing and maquettes: miniature models created for the films.

The usual suspects will be there — figures like Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie — along with tonally similar characters by other artists in the McNay's collections. Outside inspiration is pulled from contemporary surrealist painter Julie Heffernan, influential abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning, and iconic poster illustrator Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, among others.

As lovable as the characters who take center stage are, the exhibit also focuses on worldbuilding, without which they would just be oddballs in another forgettable children's movie. Removing the characters from their original context, the exhibit encourages onlookers to invent their own narratives.

Selected images on the McNay's website include a figurine of the exposed innards of Oogie Boogie, a diorama of Jack Skellington's tower interior, and a spindly, surreal bed, all from the film. They also draw in an illustration of Pulcinella, a stock character from the Commedia dell'arte — perhaps as a parallel to the charismatic and selfish, but ultimately benevolent skeleton lead — as well as a portrait that gives an uneasy air to a sagging Christmas tree.

The exhibit opens on August 17, at 10 am for members and 4 pm for the general public. More information and tickets are available at mcnayart.org.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum

The Briscoe Museum cues older country hits for a sculpture garden dance party

Summer of sippin'

There's an unwritten rule that there's always something going on at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, and this August is no exception. This is good news for people trying to impress someone — a date or a cool new friend, perhaps. With art and music in the backdrop at "Sips and Sounds of the West," it'll be a piece of cake.

"Sips and Sounds," on August 4, has a little something for everyone: live music from The Texases, a locally based classic country tunes cover band; food and award-winning margaritas from La Gloria's food truck; the beautiful surroundings of the Briscoe; and more.

The annual event celebrates what's unique about Texas — or a few places nearby — through country music and Western aesthetics. These are two common themes for the museum, which just turned 10 years old and welcomed a new president and CEO.

Past events have called attention to Hispanic influence on the region, and this event in particular pairs these intentions with music from a specific few eras of country music when it was still largely distinct from pop: 1966 to 1996.

It'll all go down outdoors at the Jack Guenther Pavilion. It features the McNutt Sculpture Garden, a display of historic art pieces that'll make you feel like you've visited the museum without even stepping foot indoors — although guests can head inside to bask in some air conditioning.

Doors open at 6:30 pm, with the Texases providing live music for dancing and sipping La Gloria margs from 7-8:30 pm. The truck stays open for a while after the music stops, until 9 pm when the event closes.

Tickets ($20 for non-members) for the 18+ event are available via briscoemuseum.org, along with additional information about the museum's musical programming. This is a popular one-night only event at the Briscoe, so buying tickets ahead of the event is encouraged. However, there will be an attendant selling tickets at the door if any remain.

Members will save five dollars and enjoy discounted rates for other events at the museum. It also includes free, unlimited access to the museum for a whole year, in addition to other perks. Sign up for the various membership tiers here.

Courtesy of the Witte Museum

Take a tour of Texas' world-class, wondrous, and wacky museums

Don't Forget the Gift Shop

Some things you just have to see in person. From history-making locations like the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas to Claude Monet's Water Lilies at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, art and history abound across Texas.

Whether the museums are showcasing our state's prehistoric history or displaying works from contemporary Texas artists — plus chronicling a president or two — there's an exhibition for everybody.

Here's where to while away a few hours in five top Texas cities:

Stroll around the largest arts district in the country by area and you'll find the heavy-hitters: Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Crow Museum of Asian Art, and Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the last one complete with a giant dinosaur skeleton towering over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

Nearby in the city's West End, you can spend a few reflective hours in the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and then cross the street to Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Sixth Floor Museum — named for the perch in the Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald camped out — chronicles the shooting, conspiracy, and legacy of the 35th U.S. president.

In Fair Park, visit the African American Museum of Dallas for one of the largest African American folk art collections in the U.S., or head north for the Museum of Biblical Art, which is also home to the National Center for Jewish Art.

On the Southern Methodist University campus you'll find the Meadows Museum, nicknamed "Prado on the Prairie" for its impressive collection of works centered on the art and culture of Spain.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is also on the college campus, and looks at the life and career of No. 43 through 43,000 artifacts, gifts, and documents collected during his presidency.

On the southeastern corner of Love Field airport, the Frontiers of Flight Museum displays the collection of noted aviation historian George Haddaway along with more than 40 air and space vehicles. The Apollo 7 Command Module, a model of the 1903 Wright flyer, and the V-173 “Flying Pancake” are just a few examples of aerocrafts found within the hangar.

If you're looking for something a little more niche, duck into the Harwood District restaurant St. Ann and head upstairs to see nearly 1,000 examples of Japanese samurai armor at the free Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum.

Likewise, a trip to Frisco can bring out the kid in everyone with a stop at the National Videogame Museum to learn about the industry's history and play the games of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Cultural District is where you'll find the city's major museums, from the architecturally striking Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Kimbell Art Museum to the towering orange building that holds the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is also a stone's throw away, as is the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the only building in the world dedicated to honoring trailblazing women of the American West.

In Sundance Square sits the Sid Richardson Museum, which holds a comprehensive group of works by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and more depicting the American West.

The big one here is the Blanton Museum of Art, but you can also visit The Contemporary Austin and the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum for more incredible art.

Named after the state’s 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the Bullock Texas State History Museum traces the Lone Star State's history from its first inhabitants through to the 21st century.

Located on the grounds of the University of Texas at Austin, the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum walks visitors through choices and decisions made by the 36th president. Insider tip: Anyone with “Lyndon” anywhere in their name gets free admission.

Boasting 19 museums in four walkable zones, the Houston Museum District is easy to navigate.

Zone 1 contains the Menil Collection, while Zone 2 has Asia Society Texas, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Czech Center Museum Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture.

Head over to Zone 3 and find the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which houses Claude Monet's famous Water Lilies.

Zone 4 is home to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Children's Museum Houston, and the Health Museum, where you can get an up-close look at the human body from wild angles.

San Antonio
Browse the most comprehensive collection of ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian art in the southern U.S. at the San Antonio Museum of Art, or hit up the first modern art museum in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Ruby City is another contemporary must-stop.

The San Antonio Art League & Museum is the oldest arts organization in the Alamo City and focuses exclusively on Texas artists.

Villa Finale Museum & Gardens contains a vast collection of oddities, especially an excess of 19th- and early 20th-century Napoleon Bonaparte artifacts — 843 to be exact — including a bronze death mask.

Cowboys and Western art abound at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, while a massive collection of taxidermy animals and proud Texas narratives about the Texas Rangers awaits at The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum and The Texas Ranger Museum.

At the Texas Transportation Museum, you can take a train ride and ogle retro train carts, model trains, old cars, and more.

The San Antonio Fire Museum, operated by the San Antonio Fire Museum Society, displays artifacts and photos dating back to the 1800s. Kids can even climb on a 1953 International fire truck, built by the Simms Fire Equipment Company.

The DoSeum also lets kids get hands-on with interactive exhibits.

The Witte Museum spans dinosaurs to cowboys and explores the history, culture, and natural science of South Texas, with several rotating exhibits.


No matter where your next adventure takes you, a Hilton hotel is waiting for you.

With over 550 Hilton hotels spanning across the state of Texas, the possibilities to earn more while exploring the Lone Star State are endless.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Famous furniture store Louis Shanks shutters last remaining San Antonio location

closing up shop

After nearly 80 years in business, family-owned Texas furniture store Louis Shanks is closing down its business.

As reported by Furniture Today, Louis Shanks will host a liquidation sale beginning Thursday, September 21, at the last remaining store in San Antonio, at 11035 IH-10 West, and its flagship store in Austin.

The furniture retailer first opened in 1945, led by its namesake Louis Shanks and John Stanford, Furniture Today said. The business had been operated by the Shanks family for four generations, with the San Antonio store opening in 1983. The company previously had a second Austin store, and more locations Houston and Sugar Land, which have all since been closed.

"An independent, regional retailer became nationally recognized by the industry and its customers for its fine furniture selection and impeccably vignetted showrooms," the industry website said.

Furniture Today reported that Planned Furniture Promotions will be spearheading the liquidation sale for Louis Shanks. Senior vice president Tom Liddell said in a statement that his company is "honored to be a part of [the] historic moment" with the long-established furniture retailer.

"This is a celebration of their decades of excellence and an extraordinary opportunity for consumers in the Austin and San Antonio areas to experience the legacy of Louis Shanks Furniture one last time," Liddell said. "This marks the end of an era, and we at PFP are thrilled they have entrusted us with this pivotal project."

A combined 200,000 square feet of merchandise will be liquidated, according to the report.

Horror film It Lives Inside sets itself apart with unique cultural details

Movie Review

Like most genres in film history, horror movies have tended to be relatively homogeneous, focusing mostly on white characters and, if it delved into religion, Christianity. As movies in general have become more diverse, so has the storytelling, something which benefits a film like It Lives Inside.

Megan Suri in It Lives Inside

Photo courtesy of Neon

Megan Suri in It Lives Inside.

The story centers on Indian-American teenager Samidha (Megan Suri), who’s suffering to a degree with her cultural identity, indicated by the opening scene depicting her shaving the dark hair off her arms. Her self-esteem isn’t helped by her childhood best friend, Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), having turned herself into an outcast, eating lunch under bleachers and carrying a weird jar around everywhere.

Tamira claims that something lives inside the jar that has to be constantly fed, and a confrontation between the two unleashes the monster on Tamira and starts a series of scary dreams for Samidha. As the monster slowly insinuates itself into Samidha’s increasingly isolated life, she must turn to the one person with whom she’s having the most difficulty, her mother, Poorna (Neeru Bajwa).

The feature film debut for writer/director Bishal Dutta and co-writer Ashish Mehta, It Lives Inside has the familiarity of other previous mysterious force/monster movies, but sets itself apart by incorporating Indian and Hindu traditions. When Samidha confronts Tamira, she discovers a book filled with all manner of strange drawings and writing, but instead of being merely the scrawls of a possessed person, much of it is a reference to Hindu mythology.

For much of the film, Samidha shuns the traditions that her family, especially her mother, tries to keep alive. So it’s no small irony that it’s those same rituals and knowledge that may serve as the key to understanding and defeating the monster. It feels like the filmmakers are trying to tell a story about the costs of assimilation into a new country/culture as much as they’re to scare audiences.

Compared to other horror films, they do a pretty good job with the atmosphere and special effects. The monster is kept hidden in the shadows for most of the film, so there’s a solid creepy factor that keeps the tension level high. In fact, they might have done well not showing it at all; it’s only when it’s revealed that the spell is broken to a degree.

Suri is at the start of what’s shaping up to be a solid career, having co-starred in the recent Missing and on Netflix’s Never Have I Ever. She makes for a great lead character and horror protagonist. She’s aided by good supporting turns from Krishnan, Bajwa, and Betty Gabriel, who plays her teacher.

It Lives Inside more than holds its own in the scare department and ups the ante with its unique details. In a year that’s featured its fair share of intense movies, it brings a different perspective alongside its horrors.


It Lives Inside opens in theaters on September 22.

Sudden shutters, buzzy burgers, and jam-packed events crowd San Antonio food news


Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio's restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our weekly roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

A downtown pub won't be around to celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2024. Via a September 17 Instagram post, Maddy McMurphy's Irish Sports Bar announced its immediate closure after a five-year run. The watering hole teased the news a few days prior, promoting a "Last Hurrah" party on September 15. Neither bulletin offered any explanation for the move. Sibling concepts in owner Terry Corless' portfolio, including Mad Dogs British Pub and Prost Haus, will continue to operate.

Local fast-casual joint Biff Buzby's Burgers observed National Cheeseburger Day by announcing a second location. The outpost will be located at the former site of the short-lived Windmill Ice House on 2769 Nacogdoches Rd., confirming the latter's July temporary closure was permanent. Judging by Facebook photos, Biff Buzby's is nearing completion, though the owners weren't quite ready to declare an opening date. They did share that the original location's popular car shows would not be revving up at the new space.

Drive-thru coffee shop 7 Brew is also in expansion mode. A press release spilled the beans on an upcoming second San Antonio location at 6202 North I-35 Frontage Rd. The Arkansas-based company opened its first local outlet in July, introducing the Alamo City market to original creations like the Smooth 7, a white chocolate and Irish cream breve. The new location will host soft opening events September 22-29, leading up to the September 30 grand opening.

Other news and notes

While America's craft beer industry is struggling, Alamo Beer Co. is making a bold move. The Eastside brewery is merging with VIVA Beer, according to a release. The move will allow the latter to grow the brand in San Antonio and beyond.

Embracing the de facto return of fall, if not the return of crisp weather, the food scene is preparing for a flurry of events. The Big Red & Barbacoa Festival has announced the dates for its 11th year. Single-day tickets start at $10 and are available online.

Can't wait until October for festival season? The San Antonio Brunch Festival runs from 11am to 3 pm on September 23. More than a dozen local eateries will be participating, offering unlimited bites. Tickets, ranging from $85-$150, are no longer available online but will be available at the door. More details are available here.

The University of Texas San Antonio's popular Ven a Comercelebration returns on September 29. Several activities are planned to support UTSA's renowned Mexican cookbook collection, including a series of dinners at Mixtli, a DIY cookbook workshop, a community pachanga, and a party at Carriqui. As always, the event's showcase will be a fundraising dinner on September 29 featuring local chefs Alexana Cabrera and Sofia Tejeda, mezcalero Pedro Jimenez Gurria, and James Bears Award winner Iliana de la Vega of Austin's El Naranjo.

Ladino is marking its first anniversary with a grill-out party on October 1. The shindig will feature unlimited bites, a live DJ, and games for $40. Cocktails will be available for purchase.